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hearts are enlarged, and our strength is renewed; so that we can mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.
This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. O let our minds be withdrawn from the world, as well as our bodies. Let our retirement be devout. Let our meditation be sweet. Let our conversation be edifying. Let our reading be pious. Let our hearing be profitable-and on Thee may we wait all the day!
Afford us the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ. Noncan need thy succors more than we. Thou knowest our infirmities let thy strength be made perfect in our weak ness. Our duties are far above our own power-let thy grace be sufficient for us. Our dangers are numberless, and we are utterly unable to keep ourselves from fallinghold Thou us up, and we shall be safe. The burdens we feel would press our lives down to the ground-lay underneath us thine everlasting arms. Fears alarm us; cares corrode us; losses impoverish us; our very affections are the sources of our afflictions; surely man walketh in a vain show; surely we are disquieted in vain: all, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. While in the world we have tribulation, in Thee may we have peace: and in the multitude of our thoughts within us, may thy comforts delight our souls!
Yet, O Lord, we would remember, that gratitude becomes us much more than complaint. Our afflictions have been light, compared with our guilt; and few, compared with the sufferings of others. They have all been attended with numberless alleviations: they have all been needful; all founded in a regard to our welfare; all designed to work together for our good. We bless Thee for what is past; and trust Thee for what is future; and cast all our care upon Thee, knowing that Thou carest for us.
Thou hast commanded us to pray for all men, that we may be bound by our very devotions, as we have opportunity, to do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith. May we always cherish and display benevolent dispositions towards our dependents; forgiving dispositions towards our enemies; peaceable dispositions towards our neighbors; and candid dispositions towards our fellow christians. May we be able to say with our Lord and Savior, WHOSOEVER shall do the will of my Father that is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother; and pray with Paul, Grace be with ALL them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
May the goings of our God and King be seen, this day, in every Christian sanctuary Go with us to thy house, and give testimony to the word of thy grace. May it have free course, and be glorified in the hearts and lives of those that shall hear it. May it enlighten the ignorant; awaken the careless; reclaim the wandering; establish the weak; comfort the feeble minded; and make ready a people prepared for the Lord!
Remember those who are this day denied our advan tages. Be a little sanctuary to them in the midst of their privations; and let them know that Thou art not confined to temples made with hands. And O forget not those who never enjoyed our privileges; never smiled when a Sabbath appeared; ncver heard of the name of a Savior; and let thy way be known on earth, thy saving health among all nations! Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever Amen.
WHO is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? May we approach Thee with the humility which is due to thy greatness, and the hope that becomes thy goodness. For though Thou art high, yet hast Thou respect unto the lowly; and though continually adored by thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, yet Thou despisest not the prayer of the destitute, but wilt hear their prayer. Our fathers cried unto Thee, and were delivered. They trusted in Thee, and were not confounded. And Thou never saidst to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.
Behold a company of sinners at thy footstool, earnestly praying to be remembered with the favor Thou bearest unto thy people, and to be visited with thy salvation! We would not overlook the blessings of the life that now is. If we have food, and raiment, and agreeable connexions, and ease, and health, and safe abode, we would bless Thee; for we have no claim to these bounties, and our present condition renders them valuable. But they are not our God;
Give what thou canst, without Thee we are poor,
Thou art the strength of our hearts, and our portion forever. Whom have we in heaven but Thee; and there is none upon earth that we desire beside Thee.
And praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion. We long to be able, with unshaken confidence, to apply the promises of thy grace to ourselves; and to say, Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory. O say to our souls, in language our consciences
can understand, I am thy salvation; and give us a token for good, that we may rejoice in Thee.
Yet, O God, we would not rest satisfied with a convic tion of our relation to Thee, while we are regardless of improving it. May we walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to his gracious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. We can never discharge the obligations thy abundant mercy has laid us under; but we may ever shew that we are sensible of them; and that our impressed hearts are asking, WHAT shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? While we hear Thee saying, O do not that abominable thing which I hate, may we be effectually deterred from sin, and induced to watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation. May thy love be shed abroad in our hearts, that none of thy commandments may be grievous. May thy glory be dear to us: may we inquire after thy will with impartiality, and conform ourselves to it with diligence. Uphold us by thy free spirit; and let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.
Hitherto we have been compelled to exclaim, My leanness, my leanness! We have been no better in religion than a bruised reed or smoking flax. But it is our mercy that Thou dost not despise the day of small things; and our encouragement, that thou givest more grace; that Thou hast promised to perfect that which concerneth us; and commanded us to ask and receive, that our joy may be full. May we therefore not only be humble but active: may we not only shake off sloth, but despondency; may we be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might;
and increase with all the increase of God, till we are filled with all-the fulness of God.
Thou knowest what is in man, and what is necessary to him. Thou art not only addressing us continually by the voice of creation, and the varying events of thy providence, but Thou hast given us thy word and thine ordinances. We behold our sabbaths, our eyes see our teachers, and our ears hear the joyful sound of salvation by the cross, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Prophets and righteous men desired to see the things that we see, and did not see them; and to hear the things that we hear, and did not hear them. But blessed are our eyes, for they see; and our ears for they hear. Yet we would remember, that our responsibility will be answerable to our talents; that our chief danger results from our greatest privileges; and that our very blessings may be converted into a curse. We would therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into thy rest, any of us should seem to come short of it.
Bless this family. May those of us who are at the head of it, walk within our house with a perfect heart, and set no wicked thing before our eyes. May we have a testimony in the bosoms of those who have the best opportunities of observing us, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by thy grace, we have our conversation in the world, and more especially to them-ward. May we conduct ourselves towards those who serve us, as knowing that we have a master in heaven, and that there is no respect of persons with God; and may our servants, in fulfilling the duties of their station, serve the Lord Christ. May we train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and have the inexpressible satisfaction of seeing them walk in the truth.
We ask not great things for them of a worldly nature; only give them health of body, and soundness of mind.